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Are  Khalistanists returning?

Is the Khalistan movement that raged in Punjab in the 1980s and 1990s challenging India’s national integrity and peace having a rebirth? Is the emergence of controversial speaker Amritpal Singh giving a new lease of life to Sikh extremists? Who is behind transforming Dubai-based truck driver Amritpal into the hero of 'Waris Punjab De' (Heir of Punjab) preparing ground for unleashing terror against India inside and outside the country? Was it just a coincidence that led a group of Khalistanists storming the Indian High Commission in London, pulling down the national flag? Khalistan supporters protested in front of the Indian Consulate in San Francisco and the Australian Parliament. A state-wide combing by the police in Punjab has already arrested hundreds of people alongside seizing guns and bullets among other arms. As a precautionary measure, internet and SMS services have been canceled, police said.

Also Read:Khalistan supporters take down Indian flag in UK, New Delhi strongly reacts

Akali Dal leader Master Tara Singh mooted the idea for an independent Punjab called Khalistan in 1940s troubling the entire country. The Akali Dal leader demanded that when India was divided between Hindus and Muslims, Punjab should get an independent status as the homeland of Sikhs. However, Ganga Singh Dhillon, who settled in America in April 1981, is known to be the progenitor of Khalistanism. Subsequently, the movement caused repercussions inside and outside India after Jarnail Singh Bhindranwala launched armed attacks based at the Golden Temple, an Akali spiritual centre in Amritsar, in the 1980s. Attacks on the police and security forces involved in maintaining law and order became commonplace. When Bhindranwala's reign of terror continued after negotiations for peace failed, in 1984 the Indian Army in Operation Bluestar entered the Golden Temple and shot dead Bhindranwala, bringing in a semblance of peace. However, the price the country had to pay was heavy for it. On October 31 of the same year, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was shot dead by two of her bodyguards Satwant Singh and Beant Singh. Shortly later thousands of innocent Sikhs were massacred in Delhi when Indira Gandhi’s death was avenged. The Khalistan terrorist movement, having its roots abroad, remained dormant for four decades.

The entry of 'Waris Punjab De' hero Amritpal Singh suggests that the desire for an independent Punjab is still intact at least in some Sikh minds. The Sikhs of Punjab undoubtedly sacrificed a lot for India's freedom and development. They are always at the forefront of guarding the borders of the country, thanks to being brave and patriotic. They are least likely to favour secession of the nation, jeopardising national security. But a few traitors are enough to make Punjab and the country sleepless. They are similar to how dangerous a teeny bit of poison is. Punjab is relatively better off without having to suffer from poverty, unemployment and ill health. However, the state’s mostly agrarian population is upset about the low price of crops and imposition of unnecessary restrictions. We can’t yet forget the Modi administration kneeling down to the massive farmers' agitation that shook Delhi. The BJP's failure in the subsequent assembly elections was its collective consequence. However, none of these things can justify extreme movements like Khalistan. Pakistan, who have always been hostile to India over Kashmir, may be pulling the strings of the new secessionist movement. Our government and intelligence agencies must be observing this aspect seriously. In any case, the movements of Amritpal Singh and his associates must be crushed with all might.

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TAGS:KhalistaniesAmritpal Singh
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